Lionel Messi has expressed his delight at fulfilling his childhood dream of winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina.
Argentina, led by Messi, notably beat France on penalties to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. They reaped the rewards for their efforts as they emerged victorious at the end of a match that was filled with twists and turns.
The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar opened the scoring for La Albicelste 23 minutes into the game with a penalty. Angel Di Maria then doubled for the side another 13 minutes later.
Lionel Scaloni and Co. appeared to be heading toward an easy win when France responded. Two goals from Kylian Mbappe in quick succession late in the game saw Les Bleus pull level.
Messi stepped up again for Argentina in extra time, scoring his second goal of the evening to put his team ahead. However, Mbappe responded with another goal, completing his hat-trick and ensuring the scoreline read 3-3 after 120 minutes.
Scaloni's men scored their penalties in the shootout, but the French players failed to do the same. Kingsley Coman had his shot saved by Emiliano Martinez, while Aurelien Tchouameni could not hit the target.
La Albiceleste thus earned a victory over the previous winners of the tournament to be crowned the new world champions. It also saw Messi finally get his hands on the trophy that evaded him for most of his career.
The 35-year-old could not contain his excitement after winning the FIFA World Cup, cutting a delightful figure after the match. Speaking to TyC Sports, he could not stop expressing his admiration for the trophy. He said (via @AlbicelesteTalk on Twitter):
“It’s the best thing there is [World Cup trophy]. Look how cute it is.”
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner then claimed that he knew he was going to end the pursuit of his childhood dream. He added:
“This was the trophy I wanted all my life. This was my dream from childhood. I knew that God was going to give it to me, I had a feeling that this was mine.”
He then stated that he is looking forward to the celebrations back home. He said:
“We can't wait to be in Argentina to see how crazy the celebrations is going to be.”
How did Messi fare for Argentina at the FIFA World Cup
Messi found the back of the net seven times for La Albiceleste at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also provided three assists for his teammates in seven matches in Qatar.
His performances for Scaloni's side saw him win the Golden Ball award after the tournament. He notably lost the Golden Boot to PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe by just one goal.